Mindy + Jay
August 18, 2012
Palmer Divide, Colorado
You're going to LOVE all of the pretty details in this Colorado wedding. From the classic vintage pearls, brooch, and handkerchiefs to the romantic mixture of white roses and rustic pinecones. This wedding is gorgeous. But it's also fun! Check out the lollipop topiaries and the sundae bar. But my favorite is the seed bomb key favor. In keeping with the vintage key theme, each guest got a seed bomb in the shape of a key with the following message:
Plant the key and watch it bloom
In hopes that it will remind you
Of the Day we became Bride and Groom.
Why a Mountain Wedding?
~ I am a native to Colorado. My husband moved to Colorado Springs from Nebraska to ski, mountain bike and ice climb. We love the outdoors, and we both knew that an outdoor mountain wedding was the right decision to reflect us as a couple. We knew that from a budget standpoint, we would not be able to afford a wedding in the Ski Resort towns like Breckenridge, Aspen or Vail. We found the Inn @ Palmer Divide tucked up in Palmer Lake, CO and knew that the terrace with the mountains as our background was perfect!
Where did you find your inspiration?
~ I knew from the beginning that my goal was a “Simple Yet Classic & Unique” wedding. My main concern was for creating a beautiful wedding, but staying within our budget. I wanted to think outside the box and do a few nontraditional things. My family, especially my mom helped me with a lot of DIY projects where we could. This saved us a ton of money.
Other than the amazing scenery, we chose our location for a number of reasons. Most of Jay’s guests would be coming in from out of town. The Inn was our one stop shop. The Ceremony, Reception and Room Accommodations were all there. That made it very convenient for our out of town guests. The Inn also had a restaurant there called MoZaic. They provided us with dinner for our rehearsal the night before, the appetizers during cocktail hour, the dinner at the reception and a Sunday brunch the next morning. They also took care of all the linens, bar, and place settings.
We had a summer wedding and I wanted a color that would compliment the mountain scenery. Initially, my first inspiration for color came from JCrew, called “fawn”. It was a beautiful brown champagne color. The dress itself turned out to be a flop and I had to leave that color behind, finding it was more and more difficult to replicate that color. I switched over to all white with chocolate brown accents and a hint of soft pink. I knew that white and soft pink would give me that classic, romantic look.
I had ordered giant white hydrangeas for our centerpieces that popped against the chocolate table linens. I loved that they even had small blue centers, for my “something blue”. These were ordered from www.fiftyflowers.com. I would highly recommend this website to any DIY brides that want to create their own centerpieces. The flowers were delivered on time, cost effective and absolutely beautiful! Since our reception was mainly inside, I felt that other than the flowers I needed to bring the outdoors in. The name settings were vintage tags (we made) placed on pine cones collected in Nebraska by my in-laws. We also gathered large rocks from our cabin home in Colorado that we stenciled table numbers on. We used a floral shop for the bouquets, boutonnieres, and corsages. Again I went with all white flowers using David Austin roses (a substitution for the peonies I really wanted but were out of season), white orchids and stock. The stock turned out amazing because it was very fragrant and made wonderful bouquets for my maids.
We went a little nontraditional with the food and the cake! We ended up having a BBQ buffet. During the cocktail hour, the chef was outside grilling up the hamburgers. : ) I loved that!!! We had grilled chicken, brisket, ribs (YUM!) and the burgers. Most brides would shy away from ribs because of their dress. Ladies go for it! You wear that dress once and can get it cleaned before you put it away in your closet! I think mine even had a little wine on it! Our menu was a hit with the guests and the food was delicious. My husband Jay and I are not too keen on cake. From past weddings, I noticed that hardly anyone eats the cake and it seems to be a pretty high ticket item for the wedding budget! Initially I was working with Coldstone to have them bring in their portable cold slab and make up ice cream creations for our guests. The only store in the surrounding area that had a portable one was broken. Needless to say we went to plan B and had the ice cream sundae bar instead. Coldstone was ridiculously inexpensive compared to a cake, unique and again the guests loved it!
For my husband, I had a few surprises for him the day of. Since he is from Nebraska and a huge Cornhusker fan, I wanted to incorporate a little red. I found red heels that I wore with my dress and ordered a Nebraska garter belt for him to keep as a memento. Another small theme that we had in our wedding was the use of a skeleton key. For our save the dates we had them printed up to say “Your presence is key” and attached a small heart shaped key to it. We used keys in our bouquets, corsages and boutonnieres. As a favor for our guests, we made large chocolate molds in the shape of a skeleton key, and a plantable key with flower seeds in it, so our guests could watch our love grow.
Three things you wish you had done?
- I saw this on Pinterest after the wedding. I wish I had a 8 x 10 photo framed of loved ones that had passed that would be placed in one of the seats during the ceremony.
- I loved my dress, but wished I had tried at least one ball gown on.
- I wish that I had the reception outside. It was an option and the night turned out to be beautiful.
Three things you wish you hadn't done?
- I wish we wouldn’t have invited so many guests. We only had around 100 people (which is considered small), but in the end it was our family & close friends that were there until the end of the evening. We could have saved some money, had a more intimate wedding and only invited those especially close to us.
- I wish we didn’t just ask for honeymoon funding. I feel like we missed out on the experience of registering together. Even though we talked about it before hand and both agreed we really didn’t need all that stuff….it would have been nice to get some china, or items that we could say “we got this at our wedding”.
- I wish I hadn’t taken that last shot! I felt horrible the next morning for our family brunch. : )
Three things you wish you hadn't worried about?
- I honestly wasn’t worried about anything. My attitude was that things were going to happen the way they were supposed to, no matter how much I tried to plan it out. I wanted to look my best the day of and felt I would look happier if I wasn’t under stress. Things turned out more amazing than I had even planned. During your wedding day you need to divide and conquer. You delegate small tasks to your family/bridal party so things get done and you don’t have to worry about doing it yourself. I highly recommend having an itinerary so everyone in the bridal party and family know where they are supposed to be.
What is your very best hindsight advice?
- Enjoy every moment! I know at the time of planning it can seem overwhelming and stressful. Remember that this is the happiest day of your life that you are planning.
- Create a wedding that is unique and reflects you as a couple. It is the day to celebrate you two anyways. Figure out what matters most to you and focus on that!
- Some of the best wedding stories come from those little “woops” that happen, so it doesn’t have to be perfect.
- You can make a beautiful wedding happen on a budget, it just takes a little creativity.
- If it stresses you out to plan a wedding, hire someone to do it for you! Ideally take at least a year to plan ahead. Most venues are booked a year in advance, especially if you have a certain date in mind. It helps with the stress level if you start planning early.
- Stay organized. When it becomes time to start paying all of your vendors, it can be tricky on remembering who has to be paid and when.
- Keep your contracts!!! Make yourself a folder with contact information, contracts, and amounts due. I made one for myself and my parents so as it got closer, they could handle the last minute details.
- Order a little extra.
- Make sure that you have a copy of your invitation, save the date, shower invites, etc to keep as a memento.
- I have found that planning our wedding was one of the best experiences I have had in my life. If there is an anxious bride out there that is confused or doesn’t know where to start, I would be happy to assist or throw out any ideas! You can email me at [email protected]
- Photographer: Elizabeth Ann Photography
- Venue: The Inn at Palmer Divide
- Other: Kreatid Photography and Design